22 February 2011 | Lindsay Clark
A shortage of hotel rooms is causing costs to
rocket in South Africa, a report has found.
The rise in hotel prices was caused by more demand
both at home and abroad, according to Margaret Bowler, director of global hotel
relations at business travel firm Hogg Robinson Group.
The group’s research shows the highest regional rise in hotel prices across the globe was
recorded in Africa. This was primarily aided by positive growth in South Africa.
Average room rates in Johannesburg increased by 17 per cent when paying with
British pounds, while the cost of rooms in Nigeria and Kenya rose by 13 per
cent and 11 per cent respectively. When measured in local currency, the average
rate growth was single digit, the report said.
Bowler said that hotel companies have been
struggling to keep up with demand. “There have been hotels opening, but at the moment
they cannot open quickly enough, particularly in places like Johannesburg. Of
all the places, this is the one that the corporates are going to.”
Price rises caused by an influx of visitors
to the World Cup in 2010 have been sustained in South Africa, she said. “The first
thing we did was to see if it was all related to the World Cup. Yes, they did
very well, but it is not a spike just for that reason. It has continued with
The southern Africa region as a whole has
also seen a growth in demand, Bowler said. “It is not just South Africa where
hotel rates are rising. Some of that is going to be exchange rates. Hotel
prices overall are going up tremendously.”
Travellers within Africa
may not be paying the same prices as those from other continents because of the
variety of accommodation available, she said. “The international traveller tends
to stay in a branded, top-end hotel. In South Africa and Africa there are a lot
of independent hotels, so there are plenty of options for the domestic